16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
There is ONLY ONE event in the history of the world that can give a man or a woman any hope. That event is THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS OF NAZARETH. Why is the resurrection so important? Because the validity of Christianity rests entirely upon this one historical event. The resurrection is so important to our faith, that without it we would have no hope at all. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:12-20:
“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified that He raised Christ from the dead… And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…”
This is why followers of Jesus have GREAT HOPE, because Christ has risen from the grave and He is alive today!
Consider the evidence to support your belief in the fact that the resurrection really happened! The tomb really is empty. Christ is risen!
- Paul’s testimony, along with the gospel writers, serves as eye-witness accounts.
- The fact that women were the first to see the risen Christ provides additional evidence to support the truth of the resurrection. Why? In the first century, women were second-class citizens. Because of this, they were not allowed to serve as witnesses in any court of law. So, if the writers of the gospels, made up the story of the empty tomb as liberal scholars suggest, then the gospel writers would never have used women as the first witnesses. The only reason women are mentioned as the first people to see the risen Christ is that women were, in fact, the first to see Jesus in his resurrected body. This adds credibility to these written accounts.
- Another major piece of evidence to support the resurrection of Jesus is the fact that the lives of the disciples were so radically changed after they saw him in person after his death. When Jesus was arrested, they all scattered in fear. However, after seeing the risen Christ and being filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, these same disciples were willing to die a martyr’s death—and they did.
Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we should live with great hope and with eager anticipation for the day when we step into heaven.
Hebrews 6:19-20 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.”
Charles Spurgeon said, “Christian, meditate much on heaven, it will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country; this world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss. And after death, what cometh? What wonder-world will open upon our astonished sight?”
Do you have hope? If not, place your trust in Jesus who has promised us eternal life if we do so. He is the only hope for this dark and lost world. And what a great hope He is.